4906.0 - Personal Safety, Australia, 2016  
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KEY FINDINGS – CURRENT STATE OR TERRITORY OF USUAL RESIDENCE

This release provides information from the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) 2016 Personal Safety Survey (PSS) for states and territories and includes data on experiences of:

  • violence
  • partner violence and partner emotional abuse
  • sexual harassment
  • feelings of general safety.

Where appropriate, data are presented for 2016 as well as in comparison to 2005 and/or 2012.

The PSS collects information about a person’s state or territory of usual residence at the time of interview although this is not necessarily the state or territory in which the experience took place. The reference period presented for all state and territory estimates is experiences in the 12 months prior to interview.

Although the PSS was not designed to produce estimates at the state and territory level for men, some data was able to be produced for the larger population states (New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia). Care should still be used when interpreting this data. Endnote 1 For more information on Sample Design, refer to the Methodology page in the Personal Safety Survey, Australia: User Guide, 2016 (cat. no. 4906.0.55.003).


FEELINGS OF GENERAL SAFETY IN THE LAST 12 MONTHS

Infographic: Used public transport alone after dark in the last 12 months and felt safe, by state/territory and sex of respondent.

Women who used public transport alone after dark in the last 12 months Endnote 2
  • In 2016, the proportion of women who felt safe using public transport alone after dark in the last 12 months across all states and territories was similar to the proportion of women who felt safe nationally (77%).
  • Between 2005 and 2016, the proportion of women who felt safe using public transport alone after dark in the last 12 months increased in New South Wales (from 67% to 78%) and Victoria (from 65% to 74%).

Men who used public transport alone after dark in the last 12 months Endnote 2
  • In 2016, the proportion of men in Queensland who felt safe using public transport alone after dark in the last 12 months was higher than the proportion of men who felt safe nationally (95% compared to 91% respectively).
  • Between 2005 and 2016, the proportion of men who felt safe using transport alone after dark in the last 12 months increased in New South Wales (from 83% to 91%) and Queensland (from 88% to 95%).

Women who did not use public transport alone after dark in the last 12 months Endnote 3
  • In 2016, Victoria (18%) and Western Australia (19%) had a higher proportion of women who did not use public transport alone after dark due to feeling unsafe, compared to the proportion of women who felt unsafe nationally (14%). In contrast, the proportions in Australian Capital Territory (14%), Queensland (10%) and Tasmania (7.8%) were lower than the proportion who felt unsafe nationally.
  • Between 2005 and 2016, there was a decrease in the proportion of women who did not use public transport alone after dark due to feeling unsafe in the following states:
    • New South Wales (from 18% to 13%)
    • Queensland (from 16% to 10%)
    • South Australia (from 21% to 13%)
    • Tasmania (from 15% to 7.8%)
    • Victoria (from 21% to 18%)
    • Western Australia (from 26% to 19%).

Men who did not use public transport alone after dark in the last 12 months Endnote 3
  • In 2016, the proportion of men who did not use public transport alone after dark due to feeling unsafe was lower in Queensland compared to the proportion of men who felt unsafe nationally (1.7% compared to 2.8% respectively).
  • Between 2005 and 2016, there was a decrease in the proportion of men who did not use public transport alone after dark due to feeling unsafe in New South Wales and Queensland:
    • New South Wales (from 4.5% to 2.9%)
    • Queensland (from 3.7% to 1.7%).


EXPERIENCE OF VIOLENCE IN THE LAST 12 MONTHS Endnote 4

Infographic: Experienced violence in the last 12 months, by state/territory and sex of respondent.

Women’s experience of violence in the last 12 months
  • In 2016, women in the Northern Territory experienced higher rates of violence in the last 12 months compared to the national rate (6.3% compared to 4.7% nationally).
  • Since 2005, the proportion of women who experienced violence in the last 12 months remained steady across all states and territories, except in Victoria which declined from 6.5% to 4.6%.

Men’s experience of violence in the last 12 months
  • In 2016, across states where data is available, men in Western Australia experienced a lower rate of violence in the last 12 months compared to the national rate (3.2% compared to 6.0% respectively).
  • Since 2005, where data is available, all states expect South Australia had a decline in the proportion of men experiencing violence in the last 12 months:
    • New South Wales (10% in 2005 to 6.9% in 2016)
    • Victoria (11% in 2005 to 5.7% in 2016)
    • Queensland (12% in 2005 to 4.7% in 2016)
    • Western Australia (11% in 2005 to 3.2% in 2016).


EXPERIENCE OF PARTNER VIOLENCE IN THE LAST 12 MONTHS Endnote 5

Women’s experience of partner violence in the last 12 months
  • In 2016, across all states and territories the proportion of women who experienced partner violence in the last 12 months was similar to the national rate (1.7%).
  • Between 2005 and 2016, the proportion of women experiencing partner violence in the last 12 months remained stable across all states and territories.


EXPERIENCE OF EMOTIONAL ABUSE BY A PARTNER IN THE LAST 12 MONTHS Endnote 5 Endnote 6

Infographic: Experienced partner emotional abuse in the last 12 months, by state/territory and sex of respondent.

Women’s experience of emotional abuse by a partner in the last 12 months
  • In 2016, across all states and territories, the proportion of women who experienced emotional abuse by a partner in the last 12 months was similar to the national rate (4.8%).
  • Between 2012 and 2016, the proportion of women who experienced emotional abuse by a partner in the last 12 months remained steady in most states and territories, except Western Australia, where it increased from 3.3% in 2012 to 5.3% in 2016.

Men’s experience of emotional abuse by a partner in the last 12 months
  • In 2016, across states where data is available, the proportion of men who experienced emotional abuse by a partner in the last 12 months was similar to the national rate (4.2%).
  • Since 2012, New South Wales saw an increase in the proportion of men who experienced emotional abuse by a partner in the last 12 months (from 2.4% in 2012 to 3.9% in 2016).


EXPERIENCE OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN THE LAST 12 MONTHS Endnote 7

Infographic: Experienced sexual harassment in the last 12 months, by state/territory and sex of respondent.

Women’s experience of sexual harassment in the last 12 months
  • In 2016, the Northern Territory (22%) and Victoria (20%) had a higher proportion of women who experienced sexual harassment in the last 12 months compared to the national rate (17%). The proportion of women who experienced sexual harassment in the last 12 months was lower in South Australia (15%) compared to the national rate.
  • Since 2012, the proportion of women who experienced sexual harassment in the last 12 months remained steady across all states and territories, except for Victoria where there was an increase from 14% in 2012 to 20% in 2016. Endnote 8

Men’s experience of sexual harassment in the last 12 months
  • In 2016, across the states where data is available, the proportion of men who experienced sexual harassment in the last 12 months was similar to the national rate (9.3%).
  • Since 2012, New South Wales and South Australia saw an increase in the proportion of men experiencing sexual harassment in the last 12 months:
    • New South Wales (5.4% in 2012 to 8.8% in 2016)
    • South Australia (6.2% in 2012 to 13% in 2016). Endnote 9



ENDNOTES

Endnote 1

While data for men has been produced for the larger population states (New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia), the reliability of this data may vary, and users should remain aware of RSEs and/or MoEs when interpreting this data.

Endnote 2

Proportions of women/men who used public transport alone after dark in the last 12 months. Public transport includes buses, trains, trams, taxis, and ferries.

Endnote 3

Proportions of all women/men.

Endnote 4

Violence includes any incident involving the occurrence, attempt or threat of either physical or sexual assault experienced by a person in the 12 months prior to the survey.

Endnote 5

The term 'partner' is used to describe a person the respondent lives with, or lived with at some point, in a married or de facto relationship.

Endnote 6

Emotional abuse occurs when a person is subjected to certain behaviours or actions that are aimed at preventing or controlling their behaviour, causing them emotional harm or fear.

Endnote 7

Sexual harassment is considered to have occurred when a person has experienced or been subjected to one or more selected behaviours which they found improper or unwanted, which made them feel uncomfortable, and were offensive due to their sexual nature.

Endnote 8

In order to accurately capture emerging trends in experiences of partner emotional abuse (such as the use of information and communication technology), new partner emotional abuse behaviours have been specifically included in the 2016 PSS. Although these behaviours have been previously collected as part of other categories, this should be considered when comparing partner emotional abuse prevalence rates between 2012 and 2016 iterations of the survey.

Endnote 9

In order to accurately capture the emerging trends in experiences of sexual harassment (such as the use of information and communications technology), new sexual harassment behaviours have been specifically included in the 2016 PSS. Although these behaviours may have previously been collected as part of other categories, this should be considered when comparing sexual harassment prevalence rates between the 2012 and 2016 iterations of the survey.


For more detailed information about the definitions used in the survey refer to the Glossary in this publication.